We became hashers.

A friend has asked our family repeatedly to join his hash group.  For those of you who are not British, a hash group is a running and walking group.

Wikipedia defines a hash group as this:

The Hash House Harriers (abbreviated to HHH or H3) is an international group of non-competitive running social clubs. An event organized by a club is known as a hash, hash run or simply hashing, with participants calling themselves hashers or hares and hounds.

Our group met on Saturday.   Members of the group do not go by their given names, but rather by names given to them by other hashers.  It was like entering a crazy foreign land, while living in a crazy foreign land.  The “virgin” members are asked to identify themselves.  My youngest daughter was sure to tell the whole group that she was pretty sure her mother was not a virgin.  Thank you for that Pippa.

The instructions are given by the hare.  He is the member who organized the day’s adventure.  There are loads of markings placed on the trail.  They are made from chalk powder and some are meant to just screw your over.  You walk down a long trail, only to find out that you are meant to turn around.  The kids loved the deception and trickery.  Our hash was 6 kilometers.  We were wimps or walkers.  The runners or rambos had a 12 kilometer run.  Intense hill climbs were everywhere.

The team meets every fortnight and the Lisbon group is made up of people from all over the world.  At the end of the adventure, the virgins stand in the center of a circle made by older members.  We had to introduce ourselves.  Then we were given cups of beer.  The girls were given water.  We had to chug the beer while the hashers sang a song.  If the beer isn’t done by the time the song ends, it goes on your head.  I proudly out chugged my priest.  He looked like a chump.  It was glorious.  To our dismay, Pippa is a really good chugger.  I fear that she may be the life of the party at college.  Maggie, a little dorky like her dad, didn’t finish her water so she had it poured over her head.  All in good fun.

We have to go on 5 hashes and then we are named.  The group meets and comes up with less than flattering names that identify you for the rest of time.

I loved these hashers.  It reminded me of my days at Trinity College.  A little initiation, a little beer, crazy names and lots of laughter.  Do yourself a favor and see if your town has a hash club.  It feels good to belong.

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